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Mr. TOWNS. Mr. Chair, I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 4078, which would prohibit agencies from issuing significant rules until the unemployment rate falls below 6%.
Similar to many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I support a comprehensive review of federal regulations to make them more effective and efficient. I am, however, strongly opposed to any measure which will prevent the government from exercising its rule making power and in turn jeopardize the health and safety of the American people.
H.R. 4078 is based on the falsehood that regulations kill jobs. The Oversight Committee has held 28 hearings this Congress, touting this absurd theory in spite of an abundance of evidence to the contrary. Regulations have been found to have little overall impact on job creation. In many cases, regulations have had a positive impact on job growth.
To continue to tie regulations to job growth is arbitrary and misleading to the American people. This bill asks the public to choose between saving their lives through the enactment of regulations that will protect their health and safety--and saving a job which may or may not be created because of the regulation.
In other words, people are being asked to choose a job over their very lives. It is wrong to ask anyone to do this. It is worse than wrong--in fact, it is criminal--to ask people to make this choice when my colleagues on the other side of the aisle know that the probability of losing a job because of regulation is just an illusion.
H.R. 4078 puts the interests of business before the interests of people. The Chairman of this Committee sent hundreds of letters to groups representing industry, asking them which regulations they would like to see repealed. Many of the corporations that submitted responses to the Committee have had skyrocketing profits over the past several years, and they are looking to this Congress to put even more profits into their pockets by passage of this bill.
These are the same companies that are cutting jobs and sending American jobs overseas--not because of any regulation, but simply because they want cheaper labor to increase their profit margin. The presence or absence of a regulation will not stop them from outsourcing American jobs.
Mr. Speaker, I refuse to take part in any measure that places profits before people. I refuse to sanction any legislation that requires the government to consult with business interests before a rule reaches the public for debate. Industry has shown that it will always choose a pathway to higher profit regardless of the impact of a measure on the health and well-being of people.
It is not difficult to imagine the destruction H.R. 4078 will bring on important safeguards to the public health and safety if it is passed.
I urge my colleagues to join me in opposing any curtailment of the government's ability to regulate the health and safety of the American People by voting no on H.R. 4078.
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